Jesus asked the scholar of the law who stood up to test him "Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?"He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise." In today’s gospel reading from Luke 10:25-37 we hear of the parable of the Good Samaritan, a parable that emphasizes and explains the importance and the meaning of the commandment of love. Just recently I went on a pilgrimage to the Holyland and was privileged to see and journey from Jerusalem to Jericho. The road from Jerusalem to Jericho went through series of mountains in a desert area that looked very lonely, unsafe and dangerous. So it wasn’t surprising that the Priest and the Levite ignored this man left half dead by robbers. Yes, there were other factors that influenced their decisions to ignore and abandon him, but these factors or excuses or reasons are still not sufficient enough to justify their actions. Just like the priest and the Levite, we give excuses for our lack of love for others. We sometimes rationalize about our actions and thoughts that lack the virtue of love. We even justify such thoughts and actions, but Jesus in today’s gospel reading urges us to change such mentality with the words "Go and do likewise".

My dear brothers and sisters, are we doing likewise as Jesus requested of us? What holds us from loving God and our neighbors? What are our excuses or reasoning for not loving our neighbor especially those who need our love the most? What is discipleship without love of neighbor? What is love for God without love for our neighbor? As we are called by Jesus today to live out the gospel of love, let us pray for the grace to let the love of God be evident in our everyday life and to live out that love of God in our love for our neighbors.